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ABU DHABI HSBC GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP


January 19, 2013


Justin Rose


ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

SCOTT CROCKETT:  Justin, thanks, as always, for coming in and joining us once again.  It's becoming a very popular place for you, the media centre, almost as popular as the golf course.  Give us your thoughts on today.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Delighted about the day.  I guess strengthened the lead, if you like, one to two shots, I guess that's always good.
But I felt more importantly I played really, really well today.  Every time I had the club in the hand, I was telling the guys outside that I felt like I was going to hit a good shot and that's not always the case.
Some days you have to work harder than others and some days are a bit of the grind, even if you do come in with a good score.  But today was a day where it felt pretty smooth.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  The key stretch was on that stretch in the front nine, just talk us through that, feeling like everything was going in.
JUSTIN ROSE:  It snuck up on me.  I think that's when you play your best golf, you're not all aware of how well you are going, I had not realised I had made five in six holes, so I guess that sort of is a testament to how calm I was.  Wasn't a great start.
Unforced error on the first hole, 3‑putting‑‑ well, the first problem was hitting my ball above the hole.¬† I knew that I wanted to be short left of the hole there and hit it long right.¬† 3‑putted and then from that point, I had to settle myself into the round.¬† It took definitely a couple holes but it was nice to put that behind me with that spell with, that nice run of birdies.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  A lot of great support out there but of course primarily from your mum who has joined us, as well.  Must be nice to have her here with you.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, it is, definitely spent some quality time together.  Just had nice, quiet evenings and yeah, normally the kids are running the show, so it's been nice to spend some time with my Mum.

Q.¬† What's your front‑running record like, and is that something you enjoy and relish?
JUSTIN ROSE: ¬†I think it's improved, I think it's pretty good right now.¬† When I'm in and around the lead, I feel like Sundays, people have been, you know, commenting‑‑ scoring average on Sunday last year or two years has been pretty good.¬† Often from 20 or 25th place, having great Sundays to finish Top‑10, weeks like Dubai, playing with the lead is always a little bit different but I feel pretty comfortable the last few times I've had the opportunity, I've done well.

Q.¬† Do you think a round of 62, like you shot in Dubai on the final round, it's possible out there in this course, and would you like to go for something like that, knowing you've got a two‑shot lead?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I think those rounds happen organically.  You can't force the issue, ever.  You just get hot.  You know, if you go out to shoot 62, you often take on shots that you shouldn't take on, you end up making careless bogeys and that's the best way to shoot 73.
This course, I don't believe, 62 is on, as it was in Dubai, just purely because the fairways at Jumeirah Golf Estates were 50 yards wide.  So you're pretty much in every fairway, so you have the opportunity to get it at the hole.
This week, I would imagine the field are averaging about 50 per cent of fairways hit.  So just based on that alone, I think it takes the really low score out of the picture.

Q.  In conversations that I've had with you in the year, you say you're the type of player that likes going up against the best players in the world.  With Rory and Tiger not here, not making the weekend, and no disrespect at all to the players chasing you, but does it make it easier not having to worry about Tiger and Rory chasing you down?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Obviously if it's Tiger and Rory that are the two guys right behind you, there's a lot of hullabaloo about the day, and I guess it would be more intense out there, just based upon people's interest.
At the end of the day, I would love to sit here and tell you it's all about playing the golf course.¬† That's ultimately what I need to do tomorrow whether I'm playing against Tiger, whether I'm playing -- who am I with, Thorbj√łrn, or whoever it's going to be?
SCOTT CROCKETT:¬† Yes, Thorbj√łrn.
JUSTIN ROSE:  No other opponent can influence you.  They can't come and tackle you or anything like that.  I've tried my whole career to not let that influence me.
Sometimes there is, I think what does influence you when you are going up against Rory and Tiger is the crowd, there's a lot more people milling around, there's more cameras and more distraction, and that's what makes it more difficult.
But hopefully tomorrow, we'll go ahead and have a fun day.¬† Thorbj√łrn is a good lad, great young player, capable of shooting 65 tomorrow.¬† Jamie Donaldson the same, won on Tour, as well.¬† At the end of the day, every player up and around the lead has a chance to win tomorrow.

Q.  Club and distance, please, for your second shot on the 9th, and club for your tee shot on the 12th?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Both 7‑irons.¬† 166 yards on‑‑ actually 164 yards, I believe it was, on the 9th hole.¬† Wind a little bit into me, and then 191 yards 7‑iron on the par312th hole, wind a little bit behind.

Q.  Would either of those be your shot of the day, and if not, which was?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I think the shot of the day for me was‑‑ yeah, that 7‑iron on 12 was about as pure as it gets to be honest with you.¬† From where I was, I actually thought it was going to go in.¬† I didn't realise it was still four feet short of the cup.¬† Looked like it had a chance to go in.
The other great shot I really felt good about was the 4‑iron I hit into the fifth hole, the way I struck that up the hill there.¬† I hit some 4‑irons on the range prior to my round and just hit them beautifully and I really tried to get those same feelings, and it's one of the few times you do that and the shot came out as I intended on the golf course, as well.

Q.  As you said you were really hot on that front nine and then you cooled down, you had that bogey; I didn't see the bogey, so could you explain a little bit what happened there?  And also, to finish with that birdie, what did that mean?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, bogey on 13, I hit 3‑wood‑‑ that's just a tee shot that has not suited my eye all week.¬† I haven't had a clue.
First time I played, I thought I hit a good shot; I was in the left rough.  First round, I thought I hit a good tee shot, was also in the left rough.
Yesterday changed to 3‑wood and hit it in play yesterday and again tried to hit 3‑wood today, but put it left again.¬† So for some reason, something is dragging me down the left side.¬† That hole has been an awkward hole for me.¬† The rough is thick out there.
So I got it out 20, 30 yards short of the green, hit a decent pitch that just did not quite check as I hoped it might and rolled out ten feet by.

Q.  And the birdie to finish off?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, I was a little bit mad about the bogey at 17, because I didn't feel like I did an awful lot wrong there.¬† Hit a pretty good tee shot that just went a long way into the wind and trickled into the bunker.¬† I was a bit in between clubs, 5‑ and 6‑iron.¬† Went with a bit of a safe option with a 6‑iron out of that bunker.¬† Came out of the front edge and felt like I should have hit the 5‑iron there.¬† So there's a slight mental error I would say.
And then compounded the slight mental error with a 3‑putt and those sort of moments where you just get‑‑ that's when you are really sharp, you save those shots.¬† Like I have been all week, I've been very resilient and bounced back well; and great swings and a chip and a putt at the last, restore the order of the day I suppose, makes me feel good.

Q.  I'm sure you're aware what happened to Tiger yesterday with that ruling, just curious if you have been in that situation and asked to help out and went over there and looked.  Would you have known the rule there, the proper rule?  It seemed like the guys in the group didn't know and a lot of guys haven't, actually.  Just curious in your own case.
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I wouldn't have been confident either way to be honest with you.¬† Certainly the embedded ball rule, if I think about it, is through the green.¬† I didn't really‑‑ obviously they take sand very much out of that.¬† I guess there's a lot of sand out here.¬† Probably a good week to refresh your memory.
But I probably wouldn't have been confident enough to say yes, that's embedded, take a drop, I don't know, it's very difficult.  I haven't seen where he hit it but it apparently was more in an ice plant and stuff.  I don't know, tough to comment when I haven't actually seen where his ball ended up.

Q.  We were talking earlier in the week about the significance of a victory when Rory and Tiger are in the field now granted you are not there yet but should you get across the line tomorrow would that substantiate you in terms of the way that you are thinking about yourself, matching status to playing, quality of playing, etc.?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I think, absolutely.  Anyone that wins this week, they have beaten the No. 1 and 2 player in the world.  Gives this tournament absolute huge amounts of credibility.  And you can say you've beaten the best players, and that's exactly what you need to do.  You need to do that in majors, and you need to do that most weeks on Tour.  But there are a lot of weeks on Tour where there's sort of a lack of the best players in the world.  These are great opportunities.

Q.¬† You praised Thorbj√łrn Olesen earlier.¬† You obviously Thorbj√łrn you know what a good player he is.¬† Is he the type that could be pushing for Gleneagles?¬† He's improved the last two years, and generally the strength and depth that Europe has now going forward to Gleneagles must be encouraging.
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think there's always a changing of the guard at some point, and you know, it's always been Monty and Clarke and Westwood, and expect those guys to still have a good chance to make it.
But at some point, there are fresh faces and you look to guys like Thorbj√łrn to fill that at some point, which is great for European golf, continental European golf, as well; I think that's very important.

Q.  Just going back to the previous question, what would a win first out of the season mean to you setting up the season ahead?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† Yeah, I mean, in a sense, I came here with no expectations, and so it would be a nice surprise in a sense, because it's sort of the middle of the off‑season in a way.¬† I came here just to sort of see where my game was at, and I'm kind of happy with where it is at.¬† Maybe I can sit on the couch a little bit more the next three weeks after this (smiling).
But yeah, you know, it might raise expectations, which might not necessarily always be a good thing, either.  I think I'll just take it in my stride with whatever happens tomorrow.  That's why I'm not overly living and dying by the result.  Of course I want to win, but I want to go out and give a good account to myself tomorrow and sometimes the rest is not in your hands.

Q.  How long ago did you decide to play here?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, quite a while ago.  I felt one thing I wanted to do was get some European Tour events on the board early this year so I wasn't always scrambling around at the end of the season to make my 13.  So the decision was made maybe September, October, or October last year I guess.

Q.¬† Just back to Thorbj√łrn, in terms of a player, what makes him‑‑ what are some of the tools he's got?¬† What makes him a potential break‑out player?
JUSTIN ROSE:¬† I think he's a good ball‑striker.¬† He's a fit, strong, young guy.¬† Hits the ball well.¬† He seems to have that sort of confidence about him.¬† Seems to be the kind of guy that could‑‑ seems to have handled the situation well.¬† Seems to do that very well at The Open Championship this year when he played with Tiger.¬† Those are the sorts of qualities.
Q.  Have you played with him?
JUSTIN ROSE:  I haven't played with him, no.
SCOTT CROCKETT:  Well, we'll look forward to your debut with him tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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